My most recent DVD was 'Up In The Air' (yes, I know I see films later than most). A fairly bleak story of a travelling restructurer (George Clooney), i.e. he flies around the US firing people on behalf of comapnies that are too spineless to do it themselves. It's a fairly bleak story on the whole, with big themes of pointless endeavour, realising the futility of life, and carrying on regardless. Clooney does a good job of bringing some humanity to a character whose nature is essentially robotic. There's some welcome comic relief from Anna Kendrick as the young hotshot whose new business model threatens his nomadic existence, and romantic interest/reality check from Vera Farmiga.
Overall it's an interesting mix of fairly depressing story executed in an entertaining way.
And mentioning Anna Kendrick reminded me that I've actually been to the cinema recently, taking Mrs SVT to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1.
Okay, confession time: I've seen previous three Twilight films. And I've read all the books. I enjoyed the books for what they are - quite good at building characters and setting up some strange dilemmas and conflicts, but lacking in the sort of big action that would transfer well to the scene - anything that could end up as a big scrap tends to get diluted down at the last minute.
As a result of this, the films have been watchable, with an interesting premise, but lacking in both emotional depth (somewhat present in the books) and interesting action (generally lacking in the books). This film followed the pattern of the previous three, showing that without the character insight from the narrative, there's not a lot left to portray. One of the scenes towards the end is quite gruesome given the generally sanitised world we're shown but it's all ultimately a bit clinical.
But Mrs SVT liked it (albeit less than the book), so that's the main thing.
oh oh oh hello old friends! The film thread returns!
Two from me:
Twilight: Breaking Dawn part 1.I am clearly an aging 'emo' teenager as I have read all the books (at least twice) and seen all the films so far. Breaking Dawn represents the final book in the four part vampire love story with a werewolf twist. A bit like the Harry Potter series the last of these books was huge compared the previous three. Exactly like Harry Potter they have split the last book into two films. Sadly, I wasn't a huge fan of Breaking Dawn, the book. It was too long. It was also (and I'm not sure how I say this given the general topic) a bit... ahem.... far fetched! In fact, I think it rather lets the series down. Therefore, I wasn't sure how excited I was about going to see the film.
However, they did quite well with it. They've taken from the book the key stuff and left some bits out and split the films very well. I was left excited to see the last one. The format of the film is tiring slightly. I'm starting to get bored with the teenage emo lead characters which the film plays up much more than in the book. In the book Edward is much more charismatic as a vampire from the turn of the last century. In the film both he and Bella are moody teenagers and that moodiness is overdone. I suppose that's to try and cultivate the teengirl market!
Overall, it's still got a very silly and unncessary plotline but they managed to draw away from some of that stupidness to offer more of the interplay between the Edward, Jacob, Bella love triangle - which, of course, pleases all the female fans. It passes an evening, I wouldn't go and see it if I wasn't a fan though.
I am rather glad that the next one is the last one, as I'll be going to watch it out of duty.
And on DVD
Your HighnessThis is the story of the younger brother of the heir to the throne in a fantasy land and he is forced to go on a quest with his older brother by the king. It's an olde worlde idea but with a modern format (ie language) and rather a parody of what a film like this should be. It boasts Charles Dance and Natalie Portman. It can also boast being one of the worst films I have ever seen. The only thing that made me laugh was the outrageously inappropriate use of language. I think I laughed AT the film, rather than with it. I cannot understand for the life of me why Dance and Portman agreed to be in it. It's truly sh*t.
ohhh lots of x posts there - I think SVT and I were typing at the same time!
Corinth - the books are good, as much as reading teen romantic fiction is. I have a penchant for vampires too, so I'm sold.
The films, however, as SVT and I agree, lose something in playing up to hormonal teenagers! Edward has so much more charisma in the book. In the film, Jacob is now starting to become laughable, they obviously couldn't afford to by him a t-shirt but had a big budget for steroids.
Great to see you both in here. I must make an effort to review my DVDs more.
Corinth - re Twilight, I've read worse and seen worse, and quite enjoyed the books as a guilty pleasure. If in doubt, read the first book. Maybe the second as well. If you get on with them then the films will be watchable if not of any great enduring value.
The liberation of futility - I guess it strikes a chord because we all chase things that are meaningless, realise they're meaningless, and carry on chasing. It describes most hobbies or pastimes. What does a sub-4 marathon really mean in the grand scheme of things? Does anyone really care? Do I even care anymore? And yet there I am, at 6am every morning, plodding the paths. That's why this film resonates.
SoVeryTired wrote (see)
Mouse - nice reviews. What you've drawn out, which was just what I was thinking, is that the Twilight films are very definitely aimed at the emo teen girl market (more so than the books). I'm not quite in that demographic...
The film reviewer Mark Kermode is a big fan of Twilight. I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to him in quite the same way ever again ...
Haven't seen any of the Twilight films, but I used to be a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!
Am planning to see "We need to Talkbout Kevin" tonight. I've read the book, so I'll be interested to see what has been done with it.
interesting Happychap, also went to see this last week and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I thought Holmes was pursuing Moriarty after he'd stolen part of the detonation device from the first film.
I've tried to read some of the sherlock holmes books and never got into them so obviously I have no concerns about whether the films are true to the books or whatever. Granted they aren't psychological thrillers and its not going to tax the audiences brains but the interplay between Holmes and Watson is fun, My son always picks the slow-mo stuff as some of his favourite bits and the whole cinema laughed out loud at the end scene. I'd say its a watchable holiday film.
get your popcorn 7/10
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